Doubling down on culture that creates systemic change


Steve Zahm, president of Procore, a construction project management software company, provides an in-depth look into his entrepreneurial journey.

Firstly, as an entrepreneur, be ready to create opportunities rather than wait to be handed opportunities. If you choose to wait around with your business idea until the rules of society suit you, you might find executing your business idea impossible. Steve majored in history while in school, and when he was ready to start in technology, he realized this was only possible for those who had experience in the field or those who had studied it. Therefore, he decided to begin work with startups, and this launched him to his 25 years, and counting, career. There is always a side door, and like Steve, use it.

Every business has certain defining attributes- values that differentiate a specific company from others. However, in the beginning, years of Procore, they did not have defined values, and this was an obstacle in their effectiveness to an extent. Also, in as much as you expect employees to live up to defined values, you must uphold these values as they will always look to and follow your lead. This, therefore, highlights the importance of self-awareness in every entrepreneurial journey.


The appropriate intention and mindset are highly important in determining the success of an entrepreneurial journey. You must believe in whatever business, product, and service that you are trying to sell. In his words, "you have to believe in something more than you see as a normal structure or goal." If you a startup business or starting entrepreneur, one advice from Steve Zahm to you is that you believe in the extraordinary. Your intention and goal for the business must be right; it is expected that you desire to save the world or solve some need. There are hardly any long-term or successful entrepreneurs that started with the sole intention of making money.

In recent times, there has been a rapid rise and recognition as it concerns emotional intelligence. However, Steve Zahm does not believe it would have a massive effect or cause any changes to entrepreneurship as it involves younger and emerging entrepreneurs. Although they would be aware of it, market validation would strongly be compared to it.

Market validation is empathy for your buyer and consumer, and it entails familiarizing your business idea with people that have the pain you intend to solve. Therefore, the awareness emotional intelligence creates would provide the platform to relate and understand target markets.


For every entrepreneur, networking is vital. The business idea you have always searched for is in your relating with others, and the assistance you require is also out there. Therefore, networking would help build all the important relationships needed by an entrepreneur, such as mentoring relationships. In becoming an entrepreneur, you do not ordinarily become your boss, but you can carry some of these lessons and values into your daily relations. As entrepreneurs, in places outside your work, you would also see the desire to improve the state of things around you.

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